chapter  11
30 Pages

Phenomenological and Dialectical Perspectives on the Relation between the General and the Particular


In much of the debate on the value of educational research, we fi nd a polarization in which generalizability, generally associated with largescale studies, is pitted against contingency, generally associated with ethnography and case study research. There are, however, forms of scholarly inquiry in which the general and particular, abstract and concrete, universal and specifi c, and collective and individual are completely integrated and are used in complementary ways. In this chapter, I articulate two such approaches: phenomenology and materialist dialectics. I exemplify how educational researchers can fi nd and articulate the general in the particular in non-dualistic approaches. The outcomes of research studies designed accordingly offer researchers the best of both worlds-general knowledge of interest to academic researchers and situated knowledge of interest to educational practitioners.